Accompanying businesses in compliance with customs laws

VCN - With a desire to accompany businesses and support them to self-assess their law compliance level, thereby helping them comply with customs laws, the customs sector has been determined to put the pilot program to support and encourage enterprises to comply with customs law into practice.
Accompany businesses to support their customs laws compliance Accompany businesses to support their customs laws compliance
Binh Phuoc Customs pilot supports and encourages voluntary compliance with Customs laws with 5 enterprises Binh Phuoc Customs pilot supports and encourages voluntary compliance with Customs laws with 5 enterprises
Businesses expecting to participate in programme to support businesses in compliance with customs laws Businesses expecting to participate in programme to support businesses in compliance with customs laws
The online conference to implement Decision 1399 of the General Department of Customs on the pilot program to support and encourage enterprises to voluntarily comply with customs laws on September 6, 2022. Photo: Quang Hung
The online conference to implement Decision 1399 of the General Department of Customs on the pilot program to support and encourage enterprises to voluntarily comply with customs laws on September 6, 2022. Photo: Quang Hung

Establishing a quick response team

The customs agency has proactively launched activities to encourage enterprises to voluntarily comply with customs law to ensure fairness in facilitation to compliant enterprises and strictly manage non-compliant ones. Therefore, the customs authority has encouraged compliant enterprises to provide information to classify the compliance level and assess the risks of customs declarant. In addition, the customs authority has issued an annual information collection and processing plan

Since January 1, 2021, the Customs authority has publicised the compliance level of enterprises on the Customs Portal (https://www.customs.gov.vn/) and guided them to look up their as well as promptly answered questions about compliance level. Further, to improve the compliance level and support enterprises in the customs clearance process, the General Department of Customs has issued a plan to develop Customs-Business Partnership and stakeholders; local customs departments: such as Hai Phong, Hanoi, Quang Ninh, Bac Ninh, Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong and Dong Nai also regularly organise dialogue conferences to solve difficulties and support the business community in the implementation of customs procedures and provide information on regulations and policies of the Customs authority.

However, out of more than 190,000 enterprises with import-export activities assessed on the risk management system, over 10% are assessed with medium and high compliance levels, and 89% are in low or non-compliance. This shows the necessity to pay attention to low and non-compliant enterprises. Understanding this problem, together with the desire to accompany and help enterprises self-assess their compliance level to support businesses to comply with the law voluntarily, the General Department of Customs has issued Decision No. 1399/QD-TCHQ dated July 15, 2022, on the pilot program to support and encourage enterprises to comply with customs law voluntarily

The objectives of the program are: more than 80% of enterprises participating in the pilot program can increase their compliance level or maintain the high compliance level; over 80% of participating enterprises are satisfied with the support measures of the customs authority. Therefore, after two years of the implementation, 100% of participating enterprises shall not be sanctioned for customs law violations and shall be assessed with compliance level 2 (high compliance) and level 3 (medium compliance). After five years, the rate of enterprises complying at levels 2 and 3 will increase to 20% of the total participating enterprises.

To spread the program throughout the sector, a quick response team to carry out program is established with 123 members. They are responsible for carrying out support activities in terms of consultation and instruction following the commitments in the Memorandum of Understanding for participating enterprises and updating the membership of the pilot program to support and encourage enterprises to voluntarily comply with the customs law on the enterprise records and the professional information systems of the Customs authority to ensure the timely and effective support activities to the right objects.

Commend and reward compliant-enterprises

As the role of coordinator, the Department of Risk Management has closely worked with the local Customs Departments and business associations to organise four conferences to introduce and promote the program in four regions, including North, Central, South and Southwest. In addition, the department has disseminated the program on the mass media and posted activities and results of the program on the Customs Portal (http://customs. gov.vn) and Customs News (http://haiquanonline.com.vn).

At the local customs departments, most of the units have actively held conferences to disseminate the contents of the program to the business community and signed a memorandum of understanding and action plan.

For example, at Bac Ninh Customs, which manages 5,615 enterprises, over 58.4% of enterprises have a low compliance level (level 4), 23.6% of enterprises have a medium compliance level (level 3), the rest has level 1 and level 2 (authorised economic operators, high compliant enterprises),

Director of Bac Ninh Customs Department Tran Duc Hung said that to implement the program, the unit selected 12 enterprises and signed a memorandum of understanding and action plan. Bac Ninh Customs will summarise the specific results and assess the program's efficiency to the Customs authority and the business community, reporting and proposing to the General Department of Customs. Customs will expand the number of participating enterprises in the future. This is one of the prerequisites to help the department continue standardising administrative procedures and commit to trading facilitation, moving towards implementing Digital Customs and Smart Customs.

"The program, first and foremost, brings benefits to the business community, while improving the management efficiency of Customs and state management agencies, creating a healthy business environment, improving productivity and national competitiveness. Therefore, enterprises have both the benefits and the obligation to comply with the law by closely coordinating with the Customs authority to re-evaluate shortcomings, specify the factors affecting the compliance level, and then build a specific plan to improve the compliance level gradually ", said Mr Tran Duc Hung.

Along with Bac Ninh Customs, Hai Phong Customs Department is also one of the first units in the customs sector selected by the General Department of Customs to implement the program; Hai Phong Customs has actively implemented related contents, selected and signed with 23 enterprises with a large number of declarations and tax.

"Hai Phong Customs has made many efforts to implement administrative reform and customs modernisation and facilitation for the business community in import and export activities. Therefore, when the General Department of Customs issued the program, the unit actively implemented it, especially understanding the thoughts, aspirations and needs of the business community to have effective support solutions," said Deputy Director of Hai Phong Customs Department Nguyen Kien Giang.

12 enterprises participate in voluntary compliance program at Bac Ninh Customs 12 enterprises participate in voluntary compliance program at Bac Ninh Customs

Shortly, to improve the efficiency of the program, the Department of Risk Management has developed action plans in which the department will coordinate with the local customs departments to monitor and evaluate the activities under the program; and report to the leaders of the General Department of Customs to commend and reward enterprises for good compliance and positive contributions to the program, as well as warn, remind and revoke membership status for enterprises failing to fulfil or breach the commitments. In addition, the Department of Risk Management will continue organising training programs so enterprises can promptly update, understand and comply with new regulations related to risk management activities and the import-export and transit activities.

By Quang Hung/ Huyen Trang

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